This would be an incredible weekend to be an oyster farmer. Gorgeous weather, incredibly long tides, a million excuses to be on the water (for work, of course).
And yet, it’s been a struggle. We’ve had one of the rainiest months in the history of Massachusetts — we picked up 13 inches of rain in March alone. It’s unheard of. Skip was interviewed about it in the Boston Globe this week:
Shellfish beds were ordered to close earlier in March, but were reopened after testing found no contaminants.
“Generally, we might see one rain closure a year, but this is crazy, back to back,’’ said Skip Bennet of Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury. The closure could not have come at a worse time, he said: The full moon has created ideal tides for harvesting the shellfish.
“It’s a little frustrating because we wait for these great tides, but we’ll be closed right through them,’’ Bennet said.
We were closed last Tuesday and aren’t expecting to be open until early this week. But we can still take advantage of the tides. Shore and I (just a couple of suits) went out with Skip’s crew on Thursday morning — my first time out since December — to walk the lease and check on the seed. It felt incredible to get back out there and hear nothing but the quiet and the wind.
Of course, Shore and I got shit for only coming out on the tide when the weather turned nice. Shore got even more for arriving to work in a brand new, sparkling clean set of waders. But he quickly got them muddied up after a few hours out there.
Kidding aside, we were put to good use and helped Skip’s crew as much as we could. Of course, it doesn’t really help since we can’t harvest oysters until next week. But even a few hours out on the water reminded me that my time to rejoin the farm is coming up quick.
Until then, I’ve got my hands full with the farm’s next big announcement. Stay tuned… details are on the way tomorrow.